As some of you might know, I have been living in Barcelona for seven months and recently returned back home. I moved there due to my study, and I have been working in a hotel for those months. It has been a great experience and therefore I would like to share some of the highlights of Barcelona, with some tips & tricks.
One of the things you must do when you are in Barcelona, is walking from Placa de Catalunya, over La Ramblas, towards the sea. This part of the coast is one of the quiet places in Barcelona. It has a very nice and beautiful harbor, where you can walk across a bridge over the sea towards the shopping centre Maremagnum. This is a very cute, small shopping centre, including some nice shops, for example H&M, Bershka and Stradivarius (which is one of the best shops to visit when in Barcelona!). Furthermore, it includes some nice small restaurants located besides the water, so you can enjoy watching some boats in the sun, while having a nice lunch or just a drink. When leaving the centre, don’t forget to make a picture in the huge mirrored walls on the outside of the building!
As well a tip when you are near that area, is to take a boat tour across the coastline of Barcelona. You have the possibility to choose different types of boats and timeranges, in order to make it perfect for you! Do not forget to take your sun cream though…
Another nice place to visit when you are walking through the city, is Parc de la Ciutadella. This park is located in the area Ciutat Vella, which is at the border of Barceloneta and the zoo of Barcelona. This is a really nice place for having a picnic, to relax and to enjoy the little piece of nature in the middle of the big, busy city. When exploring the paths of this beautiful park, you will discover a small lake where you have the possibility to rent a small rowing boat for yourself and your friends. When walking a bit further into the park, you will walk towards a beautiful piece of art, which is shwon on my picture as well. This park is sure worth a visit!
Moving on to the more familiar pieces of culture in Barcelona. One thing that has to be on top of your bucket list for Barcelona, is for sure the Sagrada Família. Of course everyone will know the story about the church which is always under construction, but when you actually will see the church itself, you will be blown away by this immensive building. If you have the change, buy a ticket in advance to go inside the church and the museum. When you are really eager to know a bit more about the church, this is one of the best things to do.
Another nice piece of culture is the Arc de Triomf, which is on top of the long path towards Parc de la Ciutadella. But, wait. Wasn’t this building in Paris? Well, that was what I was thinking as well when I saw this monument on the map. But, well, it is not. Besides, in Paris it is called Arc de Triomphe. What a difference, right? I can not say it is just as impressive as the French one, but surely worth a visit, and besides, you were already on your way to the park!
Moving on to Placa de Catalunya. This is for sure one of the busiest spots in Barcelona, but as well the middle point of the city. As from here, you could go any way you want. Either go to La Ramblas, or the more quieter shopping street Port de L’Angel. If you fancy some expensive shops, you can walk upwards via Passeig de Gracia. To conclude, one of the best places to be if you would like to do some hardcore shopping! Oh, and don’t forget to make some pictures in front of the fountains in the middle of the roundabout.
Let’s talk about food. Of course, one of the things you should definitely visit, is Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria. This is a huge market located in the middle of La Ramblas, where they sell literally everything related to the combination Spain and food. If you are interested in this cultural side of Barcelona, you should visit for sure and buy some nice ‘jamón ibérico’.
If you don’t like preparing your own food, there are a lot of nice restaurants you could visit. I will list some for you, as I discovered quite a lot in seven months.
Makamaka is one of the best beach burger restaurants in Barceloneta. They sell the most amazing burgers, and the atmosphere is great! It is a really young, hip restaurant with the most terrible service I have ever seen, but the food makes up everything. The music is too loud to speak, but you are able to sit outside if there are still spots available, since it is always busy.
Teresa Carles is a restaurant located in one of the small side streets of La Ramblas. This restaurant offers great vegetarian and healthy options, and you are able to create your own salad. Again, you have a high risk of waiting in line before getting a table, but surely worth the waiting!
El Nacional is located on Passeig de Gracia, and is consisting of different restaurants in one building. Each restaurant is located in a corner and in the middle, there is a bar where you have as well the possibility to have some bites. The restaurants are; La Paradeta (sandwiches, pastries and light meals), La Brasaria (meat), La Llotja (fish), and La Taperia (tapas). I went to La Taperia, and I absolutely loved the concept! You are getting a table, and waiters are walking around with big serving trays which are provided with the most delicious tapas of all, and they are ‘shouting’ what they have to offer. When you would like to have the dish, you just raise your hand and you will get it! This creates an atmosphere of joy, since everyone is having fun due to the weird concept they offer. Again, be on time, because you likely will be waiting in line for a table when you will come after 7pm.
Of course, last but not least, Park Güell. One of the most amazing places to go to and just wonder around in the nature. If you would like to visit the actual park itself as well, I would recommend to buy a ticket one day before visiting. You are buying a ticket for a certain time period, so make sure you are on time by the entrance of the Park. This also applies for the Sagrada Família by the way. This park does not only shows the great architecture of Gaudí, but you will have as well a breathtaking view over Barcelona and the sea. This has to be one of your things to do when visiting the city.
What a long post! I hope this would give you a little bit of advice when going to Barcelona, I surely did enjoyed my time and I can say with proud that this city became my second home!
Have you ever been to Barcelona? What were your most favorite places to visit? Share in the comments below!